Music. a polyphonic composition based upon one, two, or more themes, which are enunciated by several voices or parts in turn, subjected to contrapuntal treatment, and gradually built up into a complex form having somewhat distinct divisions or stages of development and a marked climax at the end.
Psychiatry. a period during which a person suffers from loss of memory, often begins a new life, and, upon recovery, remembers nothing of the amnesic phase.
Origin of fugue
1590–1600; < French < Italian fuga < Latin: flight
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a musical form consisting essentially of a theme repeated a fifth above or a fourth below the continuing first statement
psychiatry a dreamlike altered state of consciousness, lasting from a few hours to several days, during which a person loses his or her memory for his or her previous life and often wanders away from home
Word Origin for fugue
C16: from French, from Italian fuga, from Latin: a running away, flight
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
1590s, fuge, from Italian fuga "ardor," literally "flight," from Latin fuga "act of fleeing," from fugere "to flee" (see fugitive). Current spelling (1660s) is from the French version of the Italian word.
A Fugue is a composition founded upon one subject, announced at first in one part alone, and subsequently imitated by all the other parts in turn, according to certain general principles to be hereafter explained. The name is derived from the Latin word fuga, a flight, from the idea that one part starts on its course alone, and that those which enter later are pursuing it. ["Fugue," Ebenezer Prout, 1891]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A pathological amnesiac condition that may persist for several months and usually results from severe mental stress, in which one is apparently conscious of one's actions but has no recollection of them after returning to a normal state.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.